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Duo cheated merchant of Dh7m in cars deal

Suspects claimed owners wanted to sell cars at cheaper prices due to war in Yemen

Gulf News

Dubai: Two men have been accused of conning a merchant and ripping him of Dh7 million after rushing him to buy 50 cars using forged papers and documents.

The two men, a 37-year-old Syrian businessman and a 43-year-old Jordanian mechanic, were said to have claimed to the Saudi merchant that the 50 sport utility vehicles belonged to Yemeni owners who wanted to sell the cars at prices cheaper than what was prevalent in the market in July 2015.

The Syrian and Jordanian told the Saudi that the cars were parked in a showroom in Al Aweer, according to records, and that the Yemeni owners were seeking to sell them at cheaper prices because they were unable to export them to Yemen due to the instability over there.

The Saudi merchant asked his countryman friend, who resides in the UAE, to go and check the cars before the latter communicated with one of the two men and examined the vehicles.

Records showed the Saudi merchant visited Dubai three times and made three payments that reached Dh7 million shortly after he had signed an agreement with the two men.

While the two parties were in the process of carrying out the business deal, according to records, the Syrian businessman signed a guarantee cheque of Dh3 million to the Saudi.

However, when the duo failed to hand over the cars and prepare the required papers to have them exported, the Saudi man complained to the police claiming that he had been deceived and swindled.

Police arrested the two men and referred them to the Public Prosecution.

Prosecutors accused the suspects of forging papers and documents that they had a power of attorney to sell the cars and swindled the Saudi’s Dh7 million.

The 37-year-old was solely charged with forging the signature on the guarantee cheque and forging the sales agreement and encashment receipts.

The suspects appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Tuesday but they did not enter a plea.

Presiding judge Shaikha Hamad adjourned the hearing until the forged papers [which were seized] are clubbed to the case file on May 21.

The Saudi merchant testified to prosecutors that he visited Dubai three times and signed the agreement to buy the cars with the suspects in an office in Deira.

“When I visited Dubai for the first time to examine the cars, I realised that the name of the showroom where the SUVs were parked was the family name of one of the suspects. I made three payments a within few days … and in return, the Syrian suspect gave me three receipts. He also handed me a cheque worth Dh3 million as a guarantee. When they started stalling and failed to provide me with the proper papers to export the cars, I complained to the police. Police also asked me to present the security cheque at the bank, and when I did, it bounced as expected. Thereafter, the Syrian was apprehended first and then the other suspect,” the merchant claimed to prosecutors.

His countryman friend testified to prosecutors: “When I asked the suspects why they wanted to sell the cars for cheaper prices, they told me because the Yemeni owners were not able to export them to Yemen due to the war there.”

The trial continues.